With over 2.2 million apps in Apple’s App Store alone, it’s clear that there’s an endless demand for these handy pieces of software.
And whether you’re using an app to video chat with a friend, or play a mobile casino game, it seems that apps are an essential part of 21st century life.
Apps were traditionally bundled as pre-installed software on the primitive mobile phones of the 1990s and early 2000s. Most of these were strictly functional pieces of software that carried out basic tasks such as setting alarm clocks, managing calendars, and even allowing access to a mobile web browser.
But with smartphone brands like Nokia introducing simple gaming apps like Snake, it suggested that our mobile devices could soon be capable of so much more. And with the arrival of Apple’s App Store in 2008, we were given a much broader choice of apps to try on our impressive new smartphones.
Although the App Store only opened with 500 apps, rival stores like Google Play, Blackberry App World and Windows Phone Store quickly joined the app-craze resulting in app becoming ‘word of the year’ in 2011.
Whether they were bought for a fee or downloaded free of charge, we quickly became used to Apple’s catchphrase of ‘there’s an app for that’. This was brought about by the enthusiasm of indie developers who using the burgeoning mobile technology to offer us pocket-sized solutions for all manner of daily tasks.
From social media successes like Twitter who used a 140-character limit that was perfect for smaller screens, to gaming providers like LadyLucks who’ve ensured that even the most lucrative slots game can fit nicely on a mobile display, there’s been no shortage of inventiveness from our app developers.
But in spite of all of these impressive developments, it’s still communication that’s the dominant theme of the most popular apps of all-time. Facebook, Instagram and Skype are now household names, and whilst they have some pretty intriguing features, their basic task is that of bringing us closer together.
Despite the continuing popularity of our mobile apps, there are those who have foreseen that we could soon be seeing the end of apps. With the most popular apps now able to perform many functions, it seems that we could soon be enjoying much less cluttered smartphone screens and less gimmicky specialist apps.
But with everything from YouTube to mobile casino games still enjoying the benefits of app-based technology, it looks like our apps will be around for many years yet.